You have already demonstrated your skills, experience and qualities in your interview; that is why the family hired you. Above all else, they are impressed with you as a person, and have chosen you over all other candidates. So, you should already be full of confidence leading up to ringing their doorbell on morning one.
Most families and nanny agencies require previous experience with looking after children within wide ranging settings, so finding your feet early on should come naturally to you. You’ve got this, relax!
It is wise not to underestimate how much you will mean to your new family employers. They will be relying on you from the first minute of every day. They may need to get to work or need to get to a hospital appointment; so always aim to arrive 5-10 minutes before you are due to start. Account for traffic or anything which could disrupt your journey. It will be the little things which will ultimately go down the best with your new employers.
Give the family peace of mind that you are reliable, and that you will be there at the most important and busiest of times.
Prior to your first official day as a nanny, you will more than likely have had some informal visits to get to know each other. Once you are through the door and feel comfortable, it is a good idea to have a deeper conversation surrounding disciplining the children. You may have already touched upon this during your interview, but now you have seen the family in action, you can revisit this topic. Are you happy with their suggested methods? Do you have any ideas to share?
Sure, some children will test boundaries; it will be your job to put limits in place early on. If you are having problems with behaviour, do not hesitate to speak to the parents. They are your boss after all. It will be no different to any other job you may have had.
Creating a two-way communication-line regarding the parents is important. Perhaps consider what topics of conversations you feel are off-limits? Are the parents relaxed with how you plan the day? Do they plan aspects of the day for you? Are you flexible with hours and the possibility of leaving late at times?
Regardless of whether you are a live-in or live-out nanny, the family will hopefully encourage you to treat their home as if it were your own, so it should be OK to make yourself a sandwich and a cup of tea when you wish.
So, your feet are firmly through the door. You are getting on well with the parents and the kids, it is now time to establish a routine for yourself and the children. You are effectively your own boss, so you may wish to suggest a baby group before lunch because it works better for naps etc. Never feel afraid to suggest ideas and plans to the parents – they will love a pro-active nanny.
They may wish for as much time spent outdoors as possible –in which case research local walks, parks, forests etc.
You may at times feel a little isolated from other adults, so you may find it useful to connect with local nanny and childminder groups.
If you have numerous pick-ups and drop-offs to do throughout the day, it is essential that your time-management skills are spot-on. Perhaps practice some school-runs during your informal visit prior to starting. It will all help in aiding you in putting in place a routine which works best.
You are working with babies and children, so remember to have as much fun as you can. Kids learn best through play. They will develop each day with your presence, enthusiasm and ability to put on developmental play activities for them. It is worth noting that a quiet morning in the living room doing puzzles and crafts can be just as beneficial for a child as an extravagant trip to the beach or local zoo. So, don’t be afraid to spend time inside their house. after all, this is where they will feel most secure.
Do you have any advice for new nannies? Let us know in the comments section below! And if you’re looking for activities, visit the Jobs in Childcare blog for more fun ideas, including base building, a recycling experiment, a time capsule or a treasure hunt.
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